A gourmet sanctuary in Pasay
I have loved the cooking of Chef Marivic Diaz Lim since she first opened Apartment 1B in Salcedo Village in 2006. It was practically second home for me as a freelancer back then as I would hold meetings and stay there from breakfast to lunch to dinner. So every time I learn that Chef Marivic has a new restaurant or branch of Apartment 1B, I get excited. I know I can rely on her to serve perfectly executed comfort food.
After the legendary opinion writer Neal Cruz died in 2015, our media barkada wanted to continue our monthly breakfasts. I hosted the first one at Apartment 1B but this time in one of its new homes, The Henry Hotel in Pasay City. It was my first glimpse of this gourmet sanctuary in the city and I loved it for its privacy, character and accessibility.
The Henry Hotel is a hidden gem of Pasay. Amid the hustle, bustle and pollution of Pasay, there is a compound of houses built in the 1950s that have been restored to maintain their classic looks but updated to cater to today’s traveler.
Apartment 1B itself, located on the ground floor of one of the houses, has the interiors of a 1950s home. Instantly you will notice the Baldosa tiles. In the middle is a circular space with gold columns. And there is a private section called The Library that adds even more character to the space. Outside the restaurant, there is also the I.P. Santos Lawn, which can be used for events, even weddings, with food also catered by Apartment 1B.
I wondered if Apartment 1B survived the pandemic so I was overjoyed to learn last week that they are thriving. The Henry Hotel is already fully booked for December and into January, possibly February. And they just held an event at the lawn last week called The Grand Food Tasting Event.
This was mainly prepared by Apartment 1B’s kitchen team led by Executive Chef Nikko Roa. But it was also brought together with the help of Kriegers, a local producer of European delicatessen; Elias, a local beer label that recently won best beer in Asia; and Happy Living as well as Concha y Toro for wines.
It wasn’t a surprise that Apartment 1B would partner with Kriegers as we have always known its menu to showcase items like eggs benedict, meat loaf and other continental comfort food. What I was surprised about is that Kriegers is a purely local brand! You can order at kriegers.ph for items such as bratwurst, bacon, Hungarian sausage, corned beef made of premium beef brisket and smoked ham. Some of these items were incorporated in the menu for the event that felt very much like a Thanksgiving dinner.
A nice touch was the award-winning beer of Elias, which was just recognized as the ‘Country Champion Brewery of the Philippines’ at the prestigious Asia Beer Championship competition, where they also received eight other awards for their various outstanding craft beers. My only request is that in the future, please also serve dark beer!
If you’re looking for a venue for that Christmas reunion or family gathering that isn’t so common and a little more private, I strongly recommend heading to The Henry Hotel in Pasay. Whether you choose a regular table, or dine in the Library or hold an event at the lawn, it’s bound to be a memorable experience. And a satisfying one, with the reliable comfort food of Apartment 1B.